A clinical investigator meeting is given by a clinical trial sponsor or CRO to conduct protocol and GCP training and allow participants an opportunity to ask questions about clinical trial conduct. The meeting typically includes clinical research associates, clinical research coordinators, clinical investigators, medical monitors, data management, IVRS, laboratory, quality assurance and senior management. Here are some things that should be considered when planning a clinical investigator meeting. It is critical that every aspect of the trial is well planned before, during and after the meeting. Here are some of the items to consider when planning an Clinical Investigator Meeting:
1. Location Location is everything and key that will determine the turnout of your meeting. Try to organize the meeting in a location the investigators will be interested in visiting such as Singapore, Bangkok, Paris, Las Vegas etc. Choose your location; look at the list of investigators and where they are located. Try to find a place that is centrally located but appealing to the overall group. If the place isn’t interesting enough, the turnout could be low.
2. Ensure adequate accommodations and coordinate transportation The clinical trial sponsors typically pays for the entire event and budget is always a consideration and be kept within agreed targets. Ensure all participations are confirmed to attend before making the reservation. Be clear that the room will only be available for those who have confirmed reservations. Organize roundtrip transportation to the hotel.
3. Coordinate presentations. Make sure all presenters submit their slides in advance for review. Additionally, coordinate with the venue to ensure the meeting room has adequate lighting, space and functioning equipment. Ensure all handouts are printed and checked as attendees like having a copy of the presenter’s slides to refer to later during the trial.
4. Meals Check for special dietary needs when planning the meeting for those will allergies or cultural restrictions.
5. Include after meeting activities. Organize a tour for attendees and give them an opportunity to relax in an environment outside the meeting and network.
6. Include company ambassadors. Include people who are familiar with the clinical trial. Their job will be to interact with your guests and answer any questions they might have about the protocol or clinical trial conduct during dinner or other gatherings.
7. Arrive early. Plan to arrive at the meeting place about 1 or 2 days before the meeting to ensure everything is in order.
8. Hire Investigator Meeting Planner. First impression is last impression. Hire a company that specializes in meeting planning. It is about impressing the clinical investigators.
If the meeting comes off as disorganized, the investigators might expect the clinical trial management to be just as disorganized and decide to withdraw participation. Role of Investigator Meeting Planner is to cope with challenge of tight budgets, ethical gray areas, and demanding physicians.